Of all the many villains who fill out Batman's rogues' gallery, the Riddler is the only one who comes close to matching the Dark Knight's intellect. Who better than a genius to test the World's Greatest Detective? Since his introduction in Detective Comics #140 in 1948, Edward Nygma has proven himself to be one of Batman's greatest foes. In the decades he's gone up against his nemesis, the Riddler has been featured in a ton of incredible stories.
Over the 70+ years he's been leaving clues and riddles for the Dark Knight to find, there have been tons of comic books, great stories, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, comic book issues, story arcs, storylines, and one-shot books about the Riddler, making it hard to determine which is the best of the Riddler's greatest adventures. This list attempts the impossible by narrowing the best down to the top 20. You can also use this list as a Riddler reading guide.
Check out the stories listed below, and if you see your favorites, vote them up. Then check back to see which of these comics is the best Riddler story ever told!
Story Found In: Batman #24-25, Action Comics #25, Batgirl #25, Batwing #25, Batwoman #25, Birds of Prey #25, Catwoman #25, Detective Comics #25, The Flash #25, Green Arrow #25, Green Lantern Corps #25, Nightwing #25, and Red Hood And The Outlaws #25
With the launch of the New 52 came a re-imagining of DC's greatest heroes and villains, and Batman was one of the main features of the relaunch. "Zero Year" was an eleven-part story arc that re-imagined the Dark Knight's origin story. It tells the tale of an inexperienced Bruce Wayne as he begins his war against crime before he hones his skills to evolve into the Dark Knight.
Edward Nygma is Philip Kane's leading strategist, who initially suggested Phil kill Bruce Wayne to solve all of their problems, but Phil refused. The resulting clash with both men would eventually turn Nygma into the supervillain, the Riddler, who makes his presence known to Gotham City by knocking out its power. The Riddler's plot plays out over the long haul in this series, and it's one of the best-written to feature the puzzler, so it's a must-read.5210A great storyline?
Story Found In: Batman: Arkham - The Riddler
The Riddler has enjoyed proving his intellect to the Dark Knight over the years, but in Batman: Arkham - The Riddler, he flaunts his abilities by leading the Dark Knight to his capture. Why would he do this? Well, to arrogantly flaunt his ability to elude capture despite leaving a trail of riddling breadcrumbs for his foe to follow!
This story features some great interactions between Batman and his most intellectual foe. Nygma's propensity for perplexity somewhat entertains his nemesis, but only so far before it's time to take the villain down, but the way everything plays out, it might just be exactly what Nygma wants, and the Bat could be playing right into his hands...324A great storyline?
The Riddle-Less Robberies Of The Riddler
Story Found In: Batman #179
This early Batman book features another fun and exciting engagement with the Prince of Puzzles, the Riddler himself! The Riddler has returned to Gotham, and with him come the puzzles! His new batch of zany puzzles will put the Dark Knight to the test, but will Batman and Robin be able to solve them before it's too late?
A lot of the earliest Riddler stories were somewhat lacking, and it took some time for the character to develop. Fortunately, this book features a story that sees much of that development take place, and while it was printed 18 years after his debut, there's always some more work that needs to go into making a great villain like the Riddler.315A great storyline?
Story Found In: Detective Comics #140
Every supervillain has a beginning, and for the Riddler, his can be found in Detective Comics #140. The first appearance of the Prince of Puzzlers came in a story titled "The Riddler" in this 1948 book written by Bill Finger and drawn by Dick Sprang.
The story featuring the villain in question is best summed up by a quote found in the book:
"I'm clever enough at puzzles to baffle the police — yes, and Batman, too. Why don't I commit puzzling crimes? I'll make each crime a duel of wits between myself and the law — and fix the puzzles so I'll always win!"
This early incarnation of the Riddler lacks much of the depth his character would eventually develop. Still, you can't have a list of the greatest Riddler stories and leave off his very first one!272A great storyline?